Text annotation does not rotate when the data frame is rotated


Occasionally, text annotation in ArcMap will not rotate when the Rotate Data Frame Tool is used. This can happen with both Geodatabase annotation and with annotation stored in the map.


In ArcGIS version 8.2 and earlier, text will not rotate with the data frame if you create your text with the Draw toolbar's New Text tool (the capital 'T' on the dropdown list), the Callout tool (the balloon on the dropdown list), or the Label tool (the tag on the dropdown list).

These tools create 1-point text. That is, the text baseline starts where you click and extends horizontally. The problem is that this kind of text element does not rotate when the data frame rotates.

Solution or Workaround

If you are using ArcGIS version 8.3 or later, refer to the article in Related Information, below: "Annotation is not rotated when the data frame is rotated". For other ArcGIS versions, continue with the following steps.

If you are using the Label tool, you will be better off turning on labels for your layer and converting to annotation. Labels converted to annotation will rotate when the dataframe is rotated.

If you are using the New Text or Callout tools to create new annotation, instead use the New Splined Text tool. Use this tool to create text with 2 point baselines. This text will rotate with the data frame.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. In ArcMap's Draw toolbar, select the arrow next to the New Text tool.
  2. This brings up a popup menu. Select and activate the New Splined Text tool.
  3. On your map, click once where you want your text to begin. Double click where you want it to end.
    As its name implies, the New Splined Text tool can create text with a splined baseline, meaning that you can create curved text with many points that define its baseline. However, our goal in this situation is to get straight text 2 point text that rotates with the data frame.

    You cannot change the angle of splined text by changing the angle on the Text Symbol Properties dialog box. You can change the angle using the rotate tool on the Draw toolbar.

  4. Use the keyboard to type in your text.
  5. Activate the Data Frame Tools toolbar.
  6. Select and activate the Rotate Data Frame tool. Use this tool to rotate your data frame. The text you just created will rotate with the data frame.
  7. To add a callout to the text you have just added, see the ArcGIS Desktop help topic "Creating Symbols" and follow the steps under the heading "Creating Text Callouts"

Article ID:000005509

  • ArcMap 8 x

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